Summer Reading: The Lighthouse Keeper Series of Books

A love of books is something that I hope to pass on to any child I teach. That being said, the amount of contact time that children have with their class teacher is limited. I hope that through blogging about books that you will know what to look out for on a visit to your local library or to the book shop. Reading to your child or providing books for him/her to read has the potential to influence their lives in such a positive way.

Take a moment to read this poem and ponder just how powerful reading can be!!!


The more you read,
The more you know.

The more you know,
The smarter you grow.

The smarter you grow,
The stronger your voice,

When speaking your mind
or making your choice.

Here is a really nice series of books that have a summer vibe about them. My class really, really enjoyed The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch. It is only one from an entire series of books by Ronda and David Armitage. They would make a lovely summer read!




21729-px310-220664Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂


Memory Book to mark the end a another school year.

It is getting close to the end of the year and I thought that I would remind you all of the cute Memory Book that I created last year. It is a really great end of year activity and hopefully something that a parent would treasure.

It is a lovely way to help children reflect on their year in school. I have created pages that cover favourite subjects, friendship, maths, spelling, handprints, autographs, what I want to be when I grow up… The list goes on. It is a 12 page document.

Children love filling them in. They especially like gathering autographs from classmates. It tends be be a bit chaotic but a lot of fun 😉

Here is a sample page from my booklet:

                                 click here  to download a copy

I hope that you have fun completing my booklet. It is suitable for classroom, pre-school and home use. I can’t wait to begin making them next week. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Clipart by DJInkers

Handwriting Awards Certificate with Prim-Ed Merit Stickers

Calling all teachers who love to give out award certificates but are broke from buying them or printing them with coloured ink!!

 I have created some cute Handwriting Award Certificates in the past and printed them onto coloured paper or card. They just never seem as appealing to me. They look a little cheap or something. I almost died when I saw these:



For 2.95 Euro you get 96 stickers. That’s a whole lot of awards people and at an absolute bargain basement price. Click here for a link.

Who knew that Prim-Ed sold stickers?! Was I living under a rock? Did you know? Break it to me gently if you did 😉 Incase you are only hearing about it now here is a link to their stickers page. Worth checking out. Click here for a link.

Anyway,  these stickers inspired me  to create a new certificate for Handwriting. I think that the merit sticker is just perfect. It makes the award look far more “formal” and “special”.  Just the look I was going for. Click here to download your free Handwriting Award.

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I will use these merit stickers for other forms of  “extra specialness” in workbooks, reading logs, attendance awards etc. Did you notice the “Good Sport” award? Perfect for  Sport’s Day or when a child shows good sportsmanly traits in P.E or in the yard.

I know that this award template can be used without the sticker but I think that 2.95 worth it for the effect. I don’t think that the photos do the stickers justice. The certificates really look like they  have teacher’s seal of approval.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂


p.s the cute page border is from

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

It’s that time of year again… Strawberry time!! I had a whole punnet to myself on my journey home. Never mind, they were 2 for 5Euro so I still had one to share with Ed. I won’t tell him if you won’t 😉 Speaking of strawberries, here is a brilliant, brilliant story: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear   51QPZ986TFL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_   The illustrations are just superb. The facial expression on the mouse conveys such emotion, don’t they? He is starting to look a little worried. LOL! 22072b little mouse4-thumb-400x257-44229 For those of you who don’t know, I come from the home of Irish strawberries, Wexford. We are renowned  for our strawberries and are very, very proud of that. I am so blessed to be able to purchase amazing strawberries at the exit of my school. It’s so hard to drive past them and not purchase a punnet or two. County_Wexford As a strawberry lover a book about a big, red, ripe strawberry is to hard to resist ! I can completely make a “text-to-self connection” with this book. How far would you go to hide the red ripe strawberry from a big hungry bear?! Pretty far I think…Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 08.34.44 Hmmm. Looks like I can make another “text-to -self connection”. I would completely give in and eat it. No bear is going to put me off eating a red, ripe strawberry. IMG_3817   Click here to purchase the book. Strawberries must be purchased separately and from a roadside seller! Here are some fun facts  to accompany your reading of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear . Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 08.39.12

Click here for a link

I never knew that strawberries were a member of the rose family? I also adore roses! Incredible! I am fighting a battle with aphids at the moment who seem to love my roses as much as I do!!!

Calling all teachers:

If you don’t have it then you really should! I just love it! I attended a professional development workshop last year on storytelling and the whole workshop was based on this book. As you can see Book Depository have The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear in a large format book also, which is what I purchased. Click here to purchase  Do you have a favourite summer read? Please leave a comment and share with the rest of us if you do!   Have fun, Miss Mernagh 🙂

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch

With that blast of sunshine last week we were starting to get into Summer mode. Should have known that it wouldn’t last! Still, we can escape from all dreariness with the help of a good book. Speaking of good books, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch, is a great read!

Every day, Mr Grinling, the lighthouse keeper cleans and polishes his light to make sure it shines brightly at night. At lunchtime he tucks into a delicious and well-deserved lunch, prepared by his wife. But Mr Grinling isn’t the only one who enjoys the tasty food. Will Mrs Grinling think of a way to stop the greedy seagulls from stealing the lighthouse keeper’s lunch? Click here to purchase


I have created a free “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch” Book Report for you all to use!


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Click here to download The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch Book Report

Here are a few snapshots of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch Book Reports that my class have been working on.

WARNING: Seriously Cute!!!

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The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch is a wonderful story. If you happen to be visiting the library this week I would highly recommend it.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

You, Me and the Big Blue Sea

You, Me and the Big Blue Sea is a beautifully illustrated Irish publication. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick takes us back in time to the 19th Century in this adventure filled voyage on The Colander.

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We see a mother sharing some photos with her son:

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On each two page spread, she remembers things they did, saw, and heard, followed by “But you were only a baby. You wouldn’t remember.” Keen and careful observation of the illustration reveals that Baby see more than his Mom or Aunt Alice sees! He sees he young stowaway in a lifeboat, a man falling overboard, a man falling from the ship’s mast, the Captain asleep at the wheel,  the whale outside the cabin porthole, and even the eventual fate of the Colander.

You, Me and the Big Blue Sea is a perfect book to explore Building Bridges Comprehension Strategies. We have explored predicting, inferring, visualising and making connections. My class just loved it! We also:

  • added sound effects
  • explored “thought tracking” and inferred what the Baby and other characters might say
  • made Text-to-Self Connections: some us have taken the ferry from Rosslare
  • made Text-t0-Text Connections: we read another book about the sea called Platypus
  • made Text-to-World Connections: the ship in the story reminded some of us of Dunbrody Ship, New Ross

You, Me and the Big Blue Sea is also a wonderful portrayal of 19th Century life and fashion. I really wanted to explore this aspect of the book with my class but felt that the images were too small. I could hardly believe my luck when I stumbled on Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick’s own website. It contains a number of illustrations from the book. I used these images to create a very basic PowerPoint Presentation that I intend to use as part of a History Lesson next week. These larger illustrations will be perfect for this! Click here to download.

I have also created this fun Reader Response sheet that encourages children to look very carefully at the illustrations and to consider the story from the perspective of the Baby rather than Mom or Aunt Alice.

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Click here to download

I hope that you like “You, Me and the Big Blue Sea” as much as my class and I do!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

p.s Clipart is from

Monthly Maths: Sequencing and Ordinal Language

I am getting in nice and early with my Monthly Maths Topics and freebie! “High 5ing” myself for my efficiency 😉

You may have worked out that I have been teaching “Time” as a my maths topic for the last while. I have already blogged about Literacy tie-ins and created a Seasonal Poster freebie for you all.

Here are the curricular objective for Junior and Senior Infants that relate to sequencing and ordinal language:


Strand: Measures  Unit: Time

  • sequence daily events or stages in a story

Strand: Number  Unit: Comparing and Ordering

  • use the language of ordinal number: first, last
  • use the language of ordinal number: first, second, third, last


Stand: Story Unit: Stories

  • display storyline pictures showing episodes in sequence
  • discuss the chronology of events (beginning, middle, end) in a story

One a side note, I actually cover “first, next, last” and “1st, 2nd and 3rd” with my Junior Infants. I don’t know of any 2 step sequencing resources. Everything I have purchased starts sat 3 step instructions and works up from there. We are teaching them to count to 1o and add to 5 so it really isn’t too hard!

This week I have been exploring sequencing and the language associated with it. I am pleased that my kiddos are doing so very well at it. I have a commercially purchased set of images called Sequence Rummy that gets used year after year. We sequence 2 step images using my pocket chart rather than playing it as a card game. Where would I be without my pockets charts, LOL!  I purchased Sequence Rummy years ago and still love it. Here is a link. I have no idea where I purchased it from. If anyone knows where Trend Enterprise products can be purchased in Ireland please leave a comment below. I would  love to source more of their products!

T24011LRGI also find this  sequencing book indispensable. I  love that it covers 3-scene, 4-scene, 6-scene and 8-scene sets of images. I have used the same book with Junior Infants and Senior Infants. It gives me the option of differentiating and giving children harder or easier sequencing activities depending on their ability levels. Again, I have had it for years and am not sure where I purchased it from. My name is taped to the from on what appears to be masking tape. I am guessing that I might have purchased it from a Rep visiting the school. Here is a link if you want to find out more information about it. Here is a link that shows you the entire Make and Take Sequencing Fun book.


I have created the following headings for use in my pocket chart and decided to share them with you. I have covered the following language:

  • first, next, last
  • an extra page of “last” headings for those of you doing more than 3-step sequencing
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd
  • first, second, third

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Click here to download

I kept the colouring of the headings consistent in the event that you wanted to use the written words and the numerical representations in one lesson. If any of you need 5th to 10th as a resource for 1st class please let me know and I can make them. I don’t actually need them so I did’t create them.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂